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Full text of "Men Of Mathematics"

INVARIANT TWINS
sort of lost Pleiad in an Algebraical Constellation, and in the
end, brooding over the subject, my feelings found vent, or
sought relief, in a thymed effusion, a jeu de sottise, which, not
without some apprehension of appearing singular or extrava-
gant, I will venture to rehearse. It will at least serve as an inter-
lude, and give some relief to the strain upon your attention
before I proceed to make my final remarks on the general
theory.
TO A  MISSING MEMBER
OF A FAMILY OF TEEMS IN AN ALGEBBAICAL FORMULA
Lone and discarded one! divorced by fate,
From thy wished-for fellows - whither art flown?
Where lingerest thou in thy bereaved estate*
Like some lost star or buried meteor stone?
Thou mindst me much of that presumptuous one
Who loth, aught less than greatest, to be great,
From Heaven's immensity fell headlong down
To live forlorn, self-centred, desolate:
Or who, new Heraklid, hard exile bore.
Now buoyed by hope, now stretched on rack of fear,
Till throned Astraea, wafting to his ear
Words of dim portent through the Atlantic roar,
Bade him "the sanctuary of the Muse revere
And strew with flame the dust of Isis' shore."
Having refreshed ourselves and bathed the tips of our fingers in
the Pierian spring, let us turn back for a few brief moments to
a light banquet of the reason, and entertain ourselves as a sort
of after-course with some general reflections arising naturally
out of the previous matter of my discourse.'
If the Pierian spring was the old boy's finger bowl at this
astonishing feast of reason, it is a safe bet that the faithful
decanter of port was never very far from his elbow.
Sylvester's sense of the kinship of mathematics to the finer
arts found frequent expression in his writings. Thus, in a paper
on Newton's rule for the discovery of imaginary roots of alge-
braic equations, he asks in a footnote 4May not Music be
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